Trans-substantial Catholics

Watch this. What are the priests doing? Catholic Litmus Test If you are Catholic, then I hope for the sake of your soul you said he is welcoming Christ bodily into the world. If you didn’t you aren’t looking too […]

Poor Hanno

According to the pop-psychologist-pseudo-science writer Malcolm Gladwell in his magnum lite-opus, the Tipping Point we as a species need risk takers. Individuals who are willing to put it all on the line in pursuit of a goal will, if they […]

Intelligence and Happiness?

A while ago, the Inquisition pondered the nature of intelligence, and whether a certain outlook or attendant mental abilities are guides to or from happiness. This has been obliquely in the news of late…

Buried by the Sea

Its odd. Most graveyards in Connemara appear to be near water, if not actually right on the coast. Why? West Galway, or Connemara, has a lot of unused space. Admittedly, much of the land Connemara is industrially and agriculturally useless, […]

Cycling Two Abreast

Cycling two abreast in Ireland is legal, a protected practice, and it is safer.

Indoors / Outdoors (Defuse)

A talk given by The Inquisition at Defuse, on Wednesday 7th November 2012, as part of Designweek in Dublin, Ireland

Nürnburg’s Extra Bombs

Nürnburg got ripped to shreds by Bomber Harris’ boys. By how much appears to be open to debate.

Law & Morality

The preface to HLA Hart’s publication of his 1961 lecture series on the meeting of law and morality is as prevalent today as it ever was.

Foy – The Bodiless Head

A bodiless head is revered as being Saint Foy, who died a cruel death.

Coffee Haters

There are people out there who pretend to like coffee. Coffee Haters – you have been warned.

False Flags 2

False flag, covert ops by Americans against Americans? Sounds crazy, and so it was deemed.

Plastic 55 Years Ago

55 years ago Roland Barthes considered the importance of plastic and what it meant, as a substance and a symbol.

Cesare Borgia’s Party

The Pope, his son and fifty prostitutes – Cesare Borgia’s party.

Marriage – A Potted History

Marriage is thought by many to be a fixed rite, one which is immovable and inflexible. The truth is that it has not always seemed so…

Blinking Morse

The world was shocked when a victim of torture started blinking morse. The story of a US aviator captured in Vietnam.


Synecdoche is a powerful, expressive linguistic device

The Inquisition by Ronan McDonnell - Contents Page
The Inquisition by Ronan McDonnell - Semper Quarens - Always Looking

Alien Seeds

Rome is full of some of the world’s greatest historical and architectural treasures and, accordingly, has drawn visitors for hundreds of years. From crackpot gunmen with personal papist vendettas to the effete ether-soaked and pampered youth of 17th and 18th century Europe many people have made Rome a vital stop on their grand tours.

Arguably the cultural centrepiece of Roman splendour is the Colosseum. Over two millennia the site has hosted visitors and participants, both willing and unwilling, including zealous Christians and hungry lions, professional pugilists, hunting parties and entire zoos of wild beasts, japanese tourists in sun-hats and shitloads of wild cats.

A very fine print by Giovanni Battista Piranesi of the Colosseum, as it was used as shelter for the impoverished and unsavoury.

A very fine print by Giovanni Battista Piranesi of the Colosseum, as it was used as shelter for the impoverished and unsavoury.

For much of its history the Colosseum had lain disused and visited only by the Roman peasants who made it into a huge shelter for the disaffected, the afore-mentioned ubiquitous cats and British gentry intent on appearing as learned as possible. After visiting the site Byron wrote some heady, turgid verse:
But when the rising moon begins to climb
Its topmost arch, and gently pauses there;
When the stars twinkle through the loops of time,
And the low night-breeze waves along the air
The garland-forest, which the gray walls wear,

Like laurels on the bald first Caesar’s head;
When the light shines serene but doth not glare,

Then in this magic circle raise the dead:
Heroes have trod this spot – ’tis on their dust ye tread.

Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, (1818)


An Italian gent by the name of Domenico Panaroli, was able to look beyond the cat piss, rubble and disorientated Northern Europeans to see a unique biosphere.

Mr Panaroli, 1587-1657, was a physician (which could have meant anything in those days) and a herbalist (ditto). He produced a comprehensive catalogue of the Colosseum’s varied flora – The Plantarum Amphytheatralium Catalogus. A right riveting read that.

In producing hismeisterwerk Mr Panaroli realised that many of the plants were alien to Italy and were in fact from Northern Africa. The theory he developed, and which has not been effectively disproven, is that these plants originated from the animals that were brought from the colonies for the entertainment of citizens in the capital.

It is with some reticence that the Inquisition must point out that these animals did not ‘bring’ these seeds over per se. As tempting as it is to envisage lions bringing a little piece of home with them in a tiny fine goat-skin purse, planting them in their new home and then carefully tending the little seedlings, this is simply not what happened. The seeds were probably carried in the animals’ bedding or their food.

Amo, Amas, Amat… And All That, Harry Mount, Short Books, 2006
Site dedicated to rebuilding Rome in 3D through various historical phases
Nerone – tour guides

This article was posted by on Thursday, August 20th, 2009 at 01:52.
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